42. The Definition of Immortality in the Eastern Church is not Biblical
Immortality is defined as everlasting life as opposed to everlasting death. I reject the Eastern Orthodox view that universal human nature was being sucked down into annihilation and “non-existence” by sin and Christ ontologically raised the human genus to everlasting “existence.” First, the word “existence” is, strictly speaking, incoherent. A predicate that attaches to every subject has no meaning. Second, the Eastern view makes nonsense of the everlasting judgment of angels ((Jud 1:6, Mat 25:41). Heb 2 makes very clear that Christ did not take the nature of Angels for he gives help only to the seed of Abraham (Heb 2:16). On their theology, only men could suffer forever, not angels. But what does the scripture say? Rev 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
43. The Eastern View of Icons is Nestorian
Robert Arakaki, in his Book Review: Through Western Eyes by says,
“Pastor Letham does criticize Orthodoxy’s use of icons. He notes that Christ’s visible humanity is depicted in icons but not his divinity; this separation of the two natures is the error of Nestorian Christology (p. 158). In response, I would point out that many icons of Christ have the Greek phrase “ho on” (He Who Is); this points to Christ’s divine nature. In this way icons of Christ present both his divine and his human natures which is good Chalcedonian Christology.”
I read this book a couple times. This was not his point. His point is, if you deny images of the Trinity, which the Louisville Orthodox Church does here, then your only hope of images of Christ is to image his human nature. But that is just the error of Nestorianism. The human nature is not just some arbitrary or accidental content of the Logos. It is the humanity of the Second person. To image Jesus’ humanity is to image a Divine Person.
44. Eastern Orthodoxy confuses Attributes and Properties
Omnipresence is not a property it is an attribute. Eternal Generation is a property of the Logos. Omnipresence is an attribute of the Logos. What the Eastern view still can’t answer at least in my mind, is what actually is involved at the level of energy. When I read Farrell’s book on Maximus he asserted that the energies were both attributes and wills. I think this is indicative of the confusions involved with this construction. Are there property levels of energies as opposed to attribute levels of energies? When Reformed people criticize the ubiquity of Christ’s human nature which is necessary to the Anchoretic view of Transubstantiation and the adoration of the host, it is precisely because of this distinction between property and attribute. To assert that the body of Christ is present in numerous places at one time posits not a communication of properties but of attributes, namely omnipresence.
45. The Eastern view of the adoration of the host in the sacrament must have a corporeal presence which commits them to the abomination of Transubstantiation.
You have a couple choices if you are in the Eastern Church:
1. Say that the bread and wine takes the hypostasis of Christ every time this ceremony is performed making Christ one person and millions of natures, not two natures.
2. Say that the bread and wine take the substance of Christ, while the accidents remain bread making Christ’s humanity omnipresent and therefore committing you to a Eutychian Christology.
McGukin says on page 187 and 188 that the metaphysical transformation in the incarnation is the basis for adoring the bread and wine in the sacrament. (McGuckin, John A. St. Cyril of Alexandria The Christological Controversy [New York* Leiden, The Netherlands* E.J. Brill*Koln, 1994] 187-188) Then on this view you have a metamorphosis not an Incarnation. This is Eutychian
46. The East says that God’s essence is darkness. As Lossky says in Chapter 2 of Mystical Theology- The Divine Darkness. Yet the scripture says, 1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
47. The East posits a union of ignorance with God, per Lossky’s Vision of God. If the personality is the intellect and the intellect is suspended in a union of ignorance it is a loss of personality. This is a pagan absorption theory.
48. The East’s mediator only has one nature. On their view there is no human operation in Christ that effects salvation, only the divine nature.
Francis Turretin says,
“the question is-To which class of these acts does mediation belong? To the merely human (as the papists hold) or to the theandric (which we assert)?…The reasons are: (1) Scripture ascribes the mediation of Christ to both natures-‘God purchased the Church with his blood’ (Acts 20:28); ‘The Lord of Glory was crucified’ (1 Cor 2:8)” [Institutes. Vol 2. Fourth Topic. Question 2. pg. 379-380]
The Book of Concord. XVI. The Osiandrian and Stancarian Controversies. 177.Corruptions Involved in Osiander’s Teaching says,
“Osiander’s theory of justification according to which the righteousness of faith is the eternal, essential holiness of the divine nature of Christ inhering and dwelling in man, consistently compelled him to maintain that justification is not an act by which God declares a man just, but an act by which He actually makes him inherently just and righteous;…Osiander plainly teaches that the righteousness of faith (our righteousness before God) is not the obedience rendered by Christ to the divine Law, but the indwelling righteousness of God (iustitia Dei inhabitans),- essentially the same original righteousness or image that inhered in Adam and Eve before the Fall….Faith justifies, not inasmuch as it apprehends the merits of Christ, but inasmuch as it unites us with the divine nature, the infinite essential righteousness of God,in which our sins are diluted, as it were, and lost, as an impure drop disappears when poured into an ocean of liquid purity. [The Reformed view explained by Shaw is that union with Christ happens at the moment of faith and is the moment that the Mediatorial work of Christ’s two natures is applied to the believer. It is as God looks upon man in Christ with Christ’s mediatorial work applied to him that man is justified.-DS ] According to the teaching of Osiander therefore, also the assurance that we are justified and accepted by God does not rest exclusively on the merits of Christ and the pardon offered in the Gospel,but must be based on the righteous quality inhering in us… Osiander contends that man is just on account of the indwelling of God, or on account of the indwelling God, not on account of the obedience of the Mediator, not by the imputed righteousness of the Mediator through grace.” (The Book of Concord, The Confessions of the Lutheran Church Site, available fromhttp://bookofconcord.org/historical-16.php; Internet; accessed August 2011)
This is the same theory as the Eastern Orthodox who deny that the human nature’s obedience is involved in the righteousness of God that the believer receives. Georges Florovsky says in his Bible, Church Tradition (Vaduz, Europa: Buchervertriebsanstalt, 1987), pg. 13, “Our redeemer is not a man, but God Himself.”
49. The primary criterion for determining the truth of God in the Anchoretic Churches is called the Consensus of the Fathers. The East cannot seem to construct any coherent definition of the consensus of the fathers any better than Rome.
Do they mean that a priest has the liberty to say whatever does not contradict the consensus of the Fathers (whatever that means) or do they mean that he can ONLY say what is agreed in the consensus of the Fathers? Georges Florovsky says in his Bible, Church Tradition (Vaduz, Europa: Buchervertriebsanstalt, 1987) page 54,
“He [The Bishop-DS] must speak not from himself, but in the name of the Church, ex consensus ecclesiae. This is just the contrary of the Vatican formula: ex sese, non autem ex consensus ecclesiae. [From himself, but not from the consensus of the Church]…It is not from his flock that the bishop receives full power to teach, but from Christ through Apostolic Succession. But full power has been given to him to bear witness to the catholic experience of the body of the Church. He is limited by this experience, and therefore in questions of faith the people must judge concerning his teaching. The duty of obedience ceases when the bishop deviates from the catholic norm, and the people have the right to accuse and even to depose him…Christian authority appeals to freedom; this authority must convince, not constrain.”
50. The Eastern Church does not even have a definition of what a Church is. Georges Florovsky says in his Bible, Church Tradition (Vaduz, Europa: Buchervertriebsanstalt, 1987) admits on page 57, “It is impossible to start with a formal definition of the Church. For strictly speaking, there is none which could claim any doctrinal authority.”
51. The Doctrine of Hell and Eternal Punishment; An Embarrassing Item for the Eastern Church
The overwhelming defense and basis of the doctrine of Eternal Punishment is the judiciary nature of God and his vindicating justice. This is entirely embarrassing for the Eastern Church. As Shedd clearly proves, penal substitution and the entire basis for eternal punishment go hand in hand. To deny one is to deny the other. What else but guilt keeps these people in hell forever? On the Reformed System the guilt of the elect is imputed to Christ and propitiated in his oblation. On the Eastern System they refuse that Christ took our guilt. They don’t have a leg to stand on.
52. This church’s antinomianism is revealed in their rejection of capital punishment
53. If Only Persons Can Participate Not Natures, Then Human Nature Cannot Universally Participate in the Atonement; Thus No Christus Victor
Per the Maximian soteriology, humanity participates in the atonement at the level of nature not hypostasis. Yet the Eastern Orthodox constantly make the argument that only persons act, not natures to deny the Calvinist Doctrine of Total Depravity. If only persons act then only persons can participate in the atonement. If the atonement is made for all and infuses into all then it infuses into all persons, thus Universalism. Universalism has been a popular belief in the Eastern Church from its inception and I am shocked that the East would allow such an innovation as particular redemption in their Universalist system.
54. Referring to God As Huperousia Destroys All Distinctions Between Nature and Person, and Nature and Will Thus Producing Either a Pantheistic System or an Arian Christ
Robinson said, ““metaphysics applies to everything except God ad intra”” (Post 181: http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/the-communication-of-attributes/#comments). If that is true then by definition there could then be no ONTOLOGICAL DISTCNTON ad intra in God. That is ADS. The fact is their construction terminates with the Monad which can tolerate no ad intra distinction between nature and will as Perry admitted to us, “metaphysics applies to everything except God ad intra”. The energies are wills and attributes “around God” on the Eastern system. The energies also pertain to the economia and so as Bradshaw admits they could be something else than they are. So get this, the attributes of God are arbitrary economical actions of the Monad. The nature/will distinction is required for the eternal generation of the Son, ergo, the East is Arian.
55. Referring to God as Huperousia is a Denial of the Hypostatic Union
Perry Robinson admitted, “If you had, trying to tar me with Gilbert’s position would be obviously absurd. I don’t separate the persons from the huperousia essence because I take the persons to be huper ousia also.” (Ibid.) If both essence and hypostasis are huperousia, then there is no hypostatic union. You would then be left with an energetic union. I am grateful to Aquinas for showing me that the union between divine and human in Christ is not at the level of nature but hypostasis. But if hypostasis is huperousia, energy is the only divine thing left for humanity to unite with in Christ.
56. John of Damascus failed to refute Iconoclasm:
57. Responding to Perry Robinson’s Statements About Jacob and I at Orthodox -Reformed Bridge
I like what you say here,
I reject the Eastern Orthodox view that universal human nature was being sucked down into annihilation and “non-existence” by sin and Christ ontologically raised the human genus to everlasting “existence.” First, the word “existence” is, strictly speaking, incoherent. A predicate that attaches to every subject has no meaning. Second, the Eastern view makes nonsense of the everlasting judgment of angels ((Jud 1:6, Mat 25:41)
That said, could you provide some sources for this? I am working on a critique of chain-of-being theology.
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